Hello friends! I have been having lots of hashihime feels lately, so here is the translation of a Minakami/Tamamori short story from BL visual novel Hashihime of the Old Book Town, developed by ADELTA and localized to English by Mangagamer. This particular story set 2 years after the ending of Minakami’s route was published in the artbook of the game and is described from Minakami’s POV. I love how he’s letting himself be more cheeky~
~After the Storm~
The nightingales were already chirping by the time I woke up.
When I open my eyelids slightly, a shining spring garden greets my vision.
The rain seems to have stopped during the night.
With both the sliding doors to the living room and the glass doors to the garden left open, the cool outside air enters the room directly.
My hands that are lying beside me no longer have Tamamori’s warmth in them.
He definitely was in my arms during the night though.
I wonder where he went.
When I raise my upper body and look around, I find my change of clothes messily folded by the pillow.
The nightingales are still chirping.
Standing on the eaves, I can see the footprints continuing from the garden to the outside.
The cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
Trees heavy with flowers stand in a line on top of the hill.
When I look back after climbing halfway up, Tamamori’s house is right below, and the railroad tracks can be seen far away.
A slightly misty, rural landscape.
The air is cold, but the sun is shining brightly enough to make one sweat.
This is the first spring to welcome us after Tamamori and I returned to the village.
It is quiet on the hill.
Touching the peach-colored cherry blossoms, the colorful rays of light scatter across the ground.
In the middle of this daydream-like landscape, a white parasol sways.
It alternates between rotating clockwise and counterclockwise.
At the moment of switching, dewdrops from the spring haze sprinkle and splash.
Even though I try to approach him as quietly as possible, he notices me. His beautiful profile twists into a flabbergasted expression.
“Tamamori. I’ve been looking for you.”
Tamamori roughly closes the parasol he was casually playing with until just now.
“You’re up early today. Because you weren’t there when I woke up, I ended up looking for you.”
“….Even I get up early sometimes.”
“I wonder if it’s going to rain again tomorrow?”
*T/N : Minakami may be referring to the idiom 明日は大雨だ that literally means ‘It will rain a lot tomorrow.’ It is used when someone does something nice that they usually don’t (and when apparently it won’t rain in the next day); here heavy rain is a playful metaphor for a rare event. Somewhat similar to “Is the sun going to rise from west today?”
“How rude! ….Anyway, you did well figuring out where I was.”
“I followed the footprints.”
The soil is still muddy from yesterday’s rain.
Tamamori turns away from me and starts walking through the cherry blossoms. I also follow him while keeping a short distance.
“I was looking for a place to watch the flowers. You’re the one who told me that we’re going to go flower-viewing with everyone this afternoon.”
“Although the cherry blossoms are blooming everywhere, I wanted to find somewhere extra pretty since we’re doing this.”
“Good point. But you could’ve woken me up too.”
“I went out alone because I can’t keep looking at that silly expression of yours.”
Come to think of it, I’m full of smiles today too.
On the other hand, Tamamori’s expression is a little cold, and he seems to shift away slightly when I get close.
“What’s with that parasol?”
“Found it lying around.”
It’s a white, lacey parasol that children would use. It’s obviously not for actual shelter from rain. Someone probably wanted to enjoy the nice spring weather with it.
“Just so you know, I opened the umbrella earlier to dry it off. It’s not like I was having fun with it!”
“Once it’s dry, let’s leave it with the Jizo in the rice field. The owner will surely come to pick it up.”
Saying so, I advance one step towards him.
When I do so, Tamamori moves away again. There’s no doubt about it.
“D-d-don’t get too close!”
“If we’re seen by someone….there would be rumors.”
Saying so, Tamamori shifts away his gaze from me.
I visit Tamamori’s house even on the days when I don’t plan to do anything.
Tamamori told me to make sure nobody sees me come, but to be honest, most of the time I do not comply.
Now that two years have passed, the whole village has realized our relationship.
Tamamori is the only one who hasn’t noticed that yet.
“Do you hate the idea of our relationship being noticed?”
“Isn’t it obvious!? …..There might be people who would gossip excessively or get into our business….”
“Everyone is nice here.”
“No, you can never tell such things!”
When I greet people in passing, there are some who ask me how Tamamori is doing.
There are also people who hand me Tamamori’s share of things.
Although Tamamori is raising many concerns….they are all results of overthinking.
The villagers are all kind people. As always, they watch over us like we were their children.
But Tamamori, jumpy as he is, tells me to be vigilant.
“But nobody is here now. Can’t I even walk beside you?”
I quickly close the gap and stand beside him.
Then Tamamori opens the parasol and points the umbrella tip at me.
He glares at me through the laced canopy.
“No. Don’t come any closer.”
I have a hunch about the reason for his bad mood.
“Are you mad….about last night?”
“I’ll apologize if I pushed you too much. I’m sorry. Does it hurt anywhere?”
“I told you not to say such things outside!!!”
His cheeks are flushed.
….Just like I thought, his embarrassment over last night is the reason.
Whenever Tamamori strongly comes on to me out of his own will, he gets into a mood like this the next day.
If I try to be considerate and give him some space, that also ends up worsening his mood.
While I’m struggling to find the right response, Tamamori coughs lightly.
“We have a….secret relationship.”
“So you said.”
“In today’s flower-viewing too… Don’t talk to me too much.”
“The only people who’ll come to the flower-viewing will be my family and their employees. Isn’t it too late to-”
“Just listen to what I say!”
Tamamori closes the parasol while glaring at me.
Thinking that I’m forgiven, I try to approach him, only to find him opening up the parasol again.
“I won’t do anything.”
“….You’re a beast, so I can’t trust you.”
“Aren’t you the one who made me like this, Tamamori?”
“I told you not to say such things outside!!”
He’s the one who brought it up first, though.
“E-even now you’re thinking of that, aren’t you? Y-you’re thinking of r-ravaging me right here!”
“!? You’re misun-”
I would hug him if it was just the two of us, though.
Even as he mutters and complains, Tamamori’s cheek across the parasol is dyed red.
That gesture, unchanging from the past, is so lovable that I can’t help but want to touch him. I want to see him surprised.
And yet I wouldn’t touch him. That’s how I was until now.
Right at that moment, there is an exceptionally strong gust of wind.
Tamamori’s parasol gets pulled upwards.
A storm of flowers blows over like a gentle tornado.
The wind pushes at my shoulders, and I lean towards Tamamori.
Should I pass this off as a coincidence? Or should make my intentions clear?
Without thinking of the consequences, I kiss Tamamori.
Tamamori’s cheeks are dyed a shade of pink darker than the cherry blossoms.
For a moment he looks taken by surprise, then his eyebrows narrow.
In order to rebuke me, he takes a deep breath to completely fill up his lungs.